Knowle West has a history of environmental action, from homegrown gardening initiatives to recycling and ‘making’ projects. Over the past few years we’ve worked with residents to help local business become greener and to deliver energy monitoring and solar power projects.
KWMC was one of the original Bristol Green Capital ‘Pledge Organisations’, and during this Green Capital year we wanted to step up our green activity and showcase the fantastic things that are happening within our community.
As an organisation we’ve pledged to reduce our car travel to the site and have just purchased an electric bike for short trips around the area and to attend meetings. We’re trying to reduce our energy use and generate much of our electricity with 110 solar panels on our roof.
From growing our own produce and encouraging wildlife to our site to conserving water and using recycled materials for workshops – we’ve been on a mission to lower our carbon footprint.
You can keep up to date with our environmental journey here and read our pledges below.
Knowle West Media Centre was delighted to win a Highly Commended in the Most Improved Travel and Transport Category at the Go Green 2016 Awards this February.
Geographically, we know that KWMC is a difficult location to get to – up a steep hill and south of the city centre. As an organisation we have been trying hard to reduce the number of single person car journeys and the number of cars in our car park.
Our actions have included getting an electric bike for staff to travel to local meetings; starting a car share scheme and taking part in Big Commuting Challenge – where we came third in our category. We’ve also had a team cycle day which encouraged three members of staff who had not cycled for years to get back on a bike.
Introducing flexible working from home and using Skype for meetings has also helped to reduce travel and our carbon footprint.
Staff have really tried to embrace trying alternative methods of transport – with numbers cycling and using public transport increasing and we hope to encourage visitors to our site to take up the challenge too.
The Go Green awards and certificates were all made by KWMC The Factory – with the plaques of recycled wood creating a lot of interest at the ceremony hosted at the Bristol Hotel – attended by over 200 people. See http://gogreenbusiness.co.uk/2016-awards/
How? Offering a community-based environmental programme, business support services and tours of our eco-building.
How? Providing digital tools and creative opportunities for them to reflect on environmental issues and share their views.
How? Using digital monitors to measure heat, noise levels and air quality through the Healthy Office app, encouraging use of green spaces in the area, and organising shared lunchtimes and outdoor activities.
How? Using a water butt to collect water for the garden, installing an enhanced rainwater collector to flush our toilets and looking into cistern water displacers.
How? Installing a beehive, planting bee- and butterfly-friendly plants, hanging bird feeders and a birdbox, building a hedgehog house, log pile and edible planters, and planting fruit and veg for staff and visitors.
How? Using recycled materials as far as possible at our digital manufacturing space and continuing to ‘upcycle’ old furniture, sending any wood offcuts to the Children’s Scrapstore, and keeping up our recycling of paper, tin, cardboard, plastic and food waste.
How? Employing local caterers for events, buying locally-grown fruit and veg from allotments, and encouraging staff to bring their own home-cooked food for lunch and buy from local shops.
How? Establishing car share schemes, using an electric bike to get to and from meetings, walking and taking public transport more often, allowing staff flexible working from home, and providing an electric vehicle charging point.
How? Using Skype and webinar where relevant and setting aside a designated room for phone conferences.
How? Generating our own electricity through solar panels and storing the energy in a battery system for when we need it most, encouraging ‘switch offs’ of laptops, heating and lights, and increasing the use of our biomass boiler.
How? Introducing No Print Days, using china instead of paper plates and cups for events, using locally made cloth bags instead of plastic, and drinking tap water rather than bottled water.
How? Buying materials from the Children’s Scrapstore for workshops with young people, buying recycled toilet rolls and stationery, and ensuring our design commissions are printed on recycled paper.
How? Buying Fairtrade tea and coffee, increasing our use of caterers who provide organic food, investigating bicycle deliveries and the Reuse Network for sourcing materials, and continuing to use an ethical banking service.
How? Using our networks and digital tools, such local social media apps My Bristol and My Knowle West, to reach others in the local community and beyond, inspiring them to take action and share their activities.